Unbeaten Gents on stage at Wagner Park
The Aspen Times
The undefeated Gentlemen of Aspen rugby team will take the stage Saturday on Aspen’s internationally famous rugby field — Wagner Park.
The Aspen rugby club, which has played rugby at “Wagner Rugby Stadium” in downtown Aspen since the club was founded in the 1960s, will host the Defiance Rugby Club of Glenwood Springs in a valley test match.
The game is set for a 1 p.m. kickoff at Wagner Park.
The Saturday game will be the first rugby game at Wagner Park this season after the park was out of commission because of the Aspen Food and Wine Classic.
“The boys are looking forward to playing at Wagner (Park),” said Gents head coach Cameron McIntyre, who has guided the Aspen rugby team to a 10-0 record over the summer season. He said many of the current edition Gents have yet to play at Wagner Park, which enjoys an international reputation in the world of rugby.
McIntyre said the Gentlemen of Aspen continued their summer-long improvement with a solid 33-17 victory at Vail last weekend.
“It was a good game; we got off to a very good start,” McIntyre said of the 21-0 halftime lead for the Gents. “Matt Williams, at the No. 10 (position) had a very good game. He controlled the pulse of the game, especially in the first half. He organized our people.”
Williams, current a player at UCLA, is a former high school All-American as a member of the Junior Gents. He was an all-conference football player in high school at Basalt.
“He’s matured a lot as a player,” McIntyre said, adding that the coaching staff encouraged Williams to use the rest of the group in the matchup against Vail. “He did that. The attack was excellent in the first half.”
McIntyre said the Gents used a number of different player combinations in the second half.
“The combinations broke down a little bit in the second half. We were not quite as cohesive,” the Gents head coach said.
But the Gents picked up more valuable experience for a roster that is heavy in visiting college players.
“It’s been good this summer,” McIntyre said. “The caliber of the people who came in is excellent. They are good ambassadors for our team and our town.”
McIntyre also invited all youth players to the Gents’ youth program, a non-contact version of the sport. They will work out at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays at Rio Grande Park in Aspen.
The Gents’ senior team generally trains on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Rio Grande.
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High school students in Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs will be back to school for in-person learning full time starting Nov. 4.